Clamping returns to ‘more normal levels’ in Dublin city, council says

Clamping docklands workers ‘boneheaded’, says business group

The council said parking rules and charges “have continued as normal and have never been suspended” during the coronavirus pandemic. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

The council said parking rules and charges “have continued as normal and have never been suspended” during the coronavirus pandemic. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

 

A higher visibility of clampers on Dublin city streets can be expected from today as parking enforcement returns to a “more normal level”, Dublin City Council has said.

However, the council said that parking rules and charges “have continued as normal and have never been suspended” during the coronavirus pandemic.

The council was responding to claims from a city business organisation that a return to parking charges for essential employees, particularly those working in Dublin docklands was “boneheaded” and “mean-spirited”.

The Docklands Business Forum is calling on the council to allow all essential employees to park for free for the duration of the Covid-19 crisis.

The council said that, in line with Government requirements, and to assist healthcare workers in the current situation, restrictions on parking for “HSE staff at medical locations” where it has not been possible to provide off-street parking, have been “relaxed” and clamping activity has been “substantially scaled back” to ensure hospital workers would not be inadvertently clamped, particularly in the city centre.

Enforcement

However, the council said “parking enforcement has continued to operate with an emphasis on ensuring compliance with parking regulations and that bus lanes, cycle tracks and pedestrian spaces would be respected”.

The council said this was becoming particularly important as it designated more road space to pedestrians and cyclists. For this reason clamping in the “yellow zone”, which includes all of the city centre and extends from Ballsbridge to Dorset Street, but does not include the docklands, “ will be resumed at a more normal level” while maintaining “agreed relaxations for health-related staff”, it said.

Docklands forum chief executive Alan Robinson said docklands workers would be “forced on to public transport” or have to touch parking meters, “that have been identified as potential carriers of the virus,” he said.

“All workers travelling into docklands at this time of extreme danger are doing tasks essential for their company’s and our economy’s survival,” and clamping them was “boneheaded”, he said.

“At a time of national crisis and, for many, sacrifice, this mean-spirited enforcement will make the lives of the few more dangerous.”

The council said it was continuing to pursue a programme of measures to help with social distancing for pedestrians “and providing additional space for public transport users and cyclists”.

The council said that as these works scale up over the next number of weeks, “We would ask the public’s assistance in ensuring that measures that have been introduced – for example, removal of loading bays or parking spaces, for social distancing – are being adhered to.”